Highlands & Islands

Jackets installed for offshore wind farm in Moray Firth

Jacket being installed for Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Image copyright Bowl
Image caption Each jacket weighs about 1,000 tonnes

The first of 86 structures that will form the foundations for offshore wind turbines have been installed in the Outer Moray Firth.

More of the jackets for the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd (Bowl) project are to be installed up to December.

Weather permitting, the work will resume in May next year.

Each weighing about 1,000 tonnes, the jackets are being manufactured at yards in Fife, Newcastle, Belgium and Denmark.

The structures will be the deepest water fixed foundations of any offshore wind farm in the world.

Contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting is using the largest ship in its fleet, Oleg Strashnov, to install the jackets.

Several other vessels are also involved in the work off the coasts of Caithness and Moray.

Eighty-four of the jackets will support the Beatrice wind turbines, the first of which is due to be installed next.

The remaining two jackets will each support an offshore transformer module.

Once the construction phase is completed, Bowl will be operated from a base in Wick.

SSE, one of the companies involved, said the wind farm will be capable of providing enough electricity to power up to 450,000 homes.

It is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019.

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